Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

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Criminal Justice

How OPDV Can Help

Resources: Helpful Checklists

Review Checklist: On-Scene Investigation and Immediate Follow-up
  • Record any spontaneous statements by the victim.
  • Observe for signs of injury to the victim.
  • Record physical condition of victim; pulled hair, torn clothing, smeared makeup, other injuries.
  • Record emotional condition of the victim.
  • Determine relationship of victim to suspect.
  • Interview victim, separately from suspect, regarding the incident.
  • Interview victim regarding prior history of abuse.
  • Offer to transport victim to shelter or to obtain medical care.
  • Offer to transport victim to local court to obtain Order of Protection.
  • If declined, obtain a waiver from victim.
  • Record any spontaneous statements by suspect.
  • Record any suspect statements regarding justification for the assault.
  • Observe any signs of suspect injury.
  • Record physical condition of suspect: abraded hands, clothing, etc.
  • Record emotional condition of suspect.
  • Record any signs of substance/chemical use.
  • Interview suspect regarding incident & factors leading to the assault.
  • Interview reporting party.
  • Identify names & ages of children present.
  • Identify & interview all witnesses separately.
  • Record names & addresses of all emergency medical personnel & doctors or nurses as applicable.
  • Photograph victim injuries & clothing; Size all clothing with evidentiary value.
  • Photograph crime scene; disconnected phone, overturned furniture, holes in walls
  • Photograph suspect & any injuries. Obtain medical reports & photographs
  • Impound all weapons used & other weapons present.